Monday, February 7, 2011

Things to consider BEFORE you start your bike for the first time this Spring

Read this before you hit that button!
It's been a long, cold, brutal Winter this year. Now that it's early February some signs of Spring are just beginning. The sun sets later and later each day and when it shines, its much stronger and does a great job of melting that horrible white stuff. You should have already had your bike stored on a Battery Tender and fuel stabilizer run through your fuel system. Starting your bike and running it every week or every couple of weeks is a great way of making sure when you are ready to ride it starts up without any trouble. Unfortunately because of the deep snow many folks were not able to even get to their bikes never mind start them up and let them run for a while. If this is the case, then there are a few things to do BEFORE you hit that starter button this Spring.

First check your air filter for a mouse nest. I know its a pain to get to your air filter, but trust me, if your bike has been the Winter home of mice, you want to find out before you suck their nest into your carburetor. It's a good idea to check anyway so you can make a note to order a new one if yours is plugged with dirt.

Next look inside the exhaust pipes for signs of mice. Here in New England we have mice, chipmunks and squirrels that love to find cozy places make homes for the Winter. Exhaust pipes are perfect spots to hide their nuts, seeds, and i have even seen dog and cat food stored in them by those pesty critters!  Again, you want to find that stuff before you start your bike, not after.

Now Check the oil. Yes i know you don't see any oil puddles under your bike, but humor me and check your oil BEFORE you start your bike. I have seen it before, some people have drained your oil and forgotten to refill it before putting it up for the Winter. Or maybe it did leak out and somebody cleaned it up. Maybe somebody hates you and drained your oil on you to play a horrible joke. Either way, please check your oil before you start it. Starting an engine without oil or very low on oil will result in catastrophic engine failure. At least bend down and look in that little sight glass for me will ya!

Now that you have made sure the coast is clear of all Winter squatters, and the motor oil is at the proper level ,you can safely start your bike and let it run on idle until it comes up to temperature. NEVER, EVER sit there and rev your engine when it is first started to "clear it out". When i hear somebody doing that i want to scream! Engine parts must come up to the proper engine temperature before you can rev the engine. If you don't let it warm up properly you can run the risk of severe engine damage.

Now the only other thing you should do is check your tire pressure before you ride your bike. They will naturally loose air pressure sitting there. You don't want to ride on them soft. It's bad for the tires and bad for the bikes handling.

Come on Spring!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winter Project Update

Our Winter project bike is coming together nicely.  To recap, we started out with a 1997 Yamaha YZ125 that had a blown engine and had been left abandoned outside for several years.  We started out by completely disassembling the bike down to the last nut and bolt. The frame was sent off to be repainted ( Lexus silver ). While that was off we rebuilt the shock linkage and swing arm pivot with Moose Racing bearing kits. Linkage lubrication is done with Bel-Ray Assemble Lube. NOTHING works better for keeping the linkage working properly. The steering head bearings were replaced. Both front and rear wheel bearing have been replaced. As well as tires, IRC Heavy Duty racing tubes and rim locks. Both Brake calipers and master cylinders have been rebuilt using Moose Racing rebuild kits. Reassembly has begun with the swing arm back on the frame and both suspension units ( front fork & rear shock ) are back on for mock up. They will be gone through before final assembly. UFO plastics replace the weathered stock parts.  UFO plastics fit just like OEM parts and hold up better.  A new UFO Chain slider and rear chain guide wear block along with new chain rollers are installed. The Stock aluminum rear sprocket
was replaced with a longer lasting and stronger JT Racing steel sprocket for off-road racing. The stock wheel had one rim lock installed, but a second one was added for extra flat prevention and to help hold the tire on the rim in the event of a flat.  IMS foot pegs replace the stockers for additional rider comfort.

As each system and part is carefully reassembled, lubed and adjusted, everything is tested for proper operation. Insuring that when this bike is ready for racing it will be better then a brand new bike off the showroom floor.

Special attention is being paid to handlebar and brush guard selection for rider comfort and durability. Answer Protaper Contour bars are being used for strength as well as Answer Protaper grips.  A new front tire along with IRC Heavy Duty racing tube is installed. Extra special attention has been paid to the front brakes. New EBC pads and EBC brake fluids help increase stopping power along with proper servicing and adjustment of the front caliper alignment.  Paying special attention to the small details is what makes the difference between an average bike and one that has been set up for racing.

Assembly of the remaining body work, seat foam, seat cover and graphics can proceed as the engine is being serviced. Last time we showed the how crank assembly was finished. We installed a new rod assembly and bearing.  Now we have the cylinder out being re-chromed as the lower end is being reassembled. New crank bearings , crank seals, engine gaskets and seals are being used in the reassembly process of the YZ125 engine continues.

Next time -

-Final engine reassembly
-Systems check and adjustment
-Carburetor and Exhaust

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Distracted Drivers Beware

I think everyone that rides a motorcycle can appreciate this sticker.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Racer Rebuild - Save Money & Make Your Old Bike Better Than A New One!

Stripped to the frame, cleaned, repainted and then the reassembly process begins. Attention to every detail. Making sure all the moving parts get proper adjustment, lubrication and are working perfectly. Suspension units are serviced, lubed and adjusted for the racers style, weight and ability.

Properly working suspension will make your bike preform like it was supposed to.  Most often over looked because it is a messy, time consuming job. Most people's suspension is working like crap! Taking the time to service yours will put you one up on the competition. This shows how dry and non-responsive rear shock linkage can get when not properly serviced. You should be cleaning and regreasing your suspension linkage two to three times a year. DON'T wait until it "squeeks" before servicing it!

A complete engine tear down and inspection. New Crank bearings and seals, Transmission gears and bearings are inspected. Never reuse crank bearings and seals or gaskets.

Crankshafts can be rebuilt for less then half the price of a new assembly. On small displacement bikes replacing the connection rod, and lower bearing and pin is a must. 

Rebuild the cylinder don't replace it unless absolutely necessary.  If you are rebuilding it, have it replated NOT sleeved. Modern motorcycle engines have plated cylinders. The engine is engineered to run properly with a plated cylinder. Sleeving it will change how it runs dramatically, and not for the better. Do it right, replate it.  Replace the piston, don't try to reuse high wear parts like pistons and rings. Good mechanics replace worn parts. If your bike is worth fixing, it's worth fixing right.  Always use new gaskets.  There is an old saying...there is no such thing as bad parts, only bad mechanics.

That's it for now. Taking the time to rebuild you bike correctly will make it perform better then someone that takes a brand new bike off the showroom floor and just races it.  Next time we'll talk about how to make this freshened up racer look as good as it performs.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Duro High Durability Off-Road Tires

Duro introduces a new line of affordable, high durability, off-road tires. The Excelerators! If your looking for a tire that not only performs well on a wide verity of terrain but also out lasts along time, then this is the one to choose. Available in many popular sizes of 18", 19" and 21". Prices starting at $54.95 A great value and perfect choice for tough New England conditions that would chew up most other tires on the market. Log on to see more.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Great For Winter Storage!

S100 MOTORCYCLE CORROSION PROTECTANT  No matter how clean you keep your bike, you always have to be on the lookout for that dreaded “enemy number one”, corrosion.  Unless you live in the desert, humidity, salt air, spring road salt and plain old pollution threaten your bike’s “precious metals”.  That’s why S100 developed Motorcycle  Corrosion Protectant.  Just spray on a clean, dry bike (or into a cloth) and rub into the areas you want to protect, those sensitive areas like fork tubes, chrome exhaust pipes, case covers and wheels (and don’t forget those hidden areas you can’t reach.).  You’ll find that S100 Motorcycle Corrosion Protectant won’t rub off easily in the rain and so its protection really lasts.  It even dramatically out-performed a famous so called “corrosion fighter”, so this is really the way to protect your investment! "Daytona Beach Salt Spray Tested!" Important note: This is the perfect product for winter lay up and long term storage. Spray directly on all sensitive areas and allow to dry. 7.2 oz can. $9.95

Monday, December 6, 2010

EK 420SH Gold - Premier Quality Mini Racing Chain

Introducing the new 420SH EK Racing Chain. Premier Quality and Performance for Minis. Manufactured in Japan to the highest possible standards. Mini riders can get the same EK Chain quality as the pros. With solid bushings and rollers, high-strength heat treating and remarkably light weight, the 420SH  provide outstanding performance and remarkable value. Tensile strength: 5200 lbs. for 420SH. When your serious about racing, this is the chain to use.

EK 420SH Gold Premier Quality Racing Chain